On the Road: Wandering Sharks and Airborne Chickens in New Hampshire
To see all posts from my September 2, 2015 visit to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (this is Part Two) click HERE. To see all of the posts from my August/September 2015 trip through New England, click HERE. To see ALL of my “On the Road” posts (going back to 2010), click HERE.
2015 “On the Road” landing page HERE!
On September 2 I visited Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Yes, it was a Wednesday evening late in the season. But I was there and I was alive and it’s always good to be alive because if you’re not alive you’re dead.
The Fisher Cats were playing their rivals to the north, the Portland Sea Dogs.
My pregame wanderings and observations were documented in the previous post. Shortly after the game began, I met up with my designated eater (you know, the individual who eats the ballpark cuisine that my gluten-free diet prohibits), and that will be documented in the next post.
So where does that leave us now? How about here, in the Fisher Cats broadcast booth, alongside Tom Gauthier?
I spent an inning on the air with Tom, who came to the Fisher Cats after a stint with the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Here, he sets the scene.
On the air with Tom Gauthier, New Hampshire Fisher Cats https://t.co/1NNOJnTSrC
— Benjamin Hill (@bensbiz) September 3, 2015
The view from the booth.
Tom’s current broadcasting partner is Ben Gellman-Chomsky, who last appeared on this blog in a post about the 2014 Winter Meetings.
Ben and I have long been Twitter pals, at least in part because he is always up for a pun battle. Or always was up for a pun battle, as earlier this month he finally run out of patience with my wordplay compulsions. I think I need to join some sort of pun addiction treatment program.
@bensbiz you’re a monster and I won’t dignify this by adding my own puns
— Ben Gellman-Chomsky (@benjgc) October 15, 2015
After visiting the booth, I went back down to the concourse. Shockingly, the view was almost the same as it had been in the broadcast booth. It was just a little lower to the ground.
Things always get a little strange in the bowels of the stadium, it’s the Minor League Baseball equivalent of visiting the bottom of the ocean. Giant hamburgers lie in disarray in front of makeshift storage areas, which are guarded by walking bipedal sharks.
I had entered into this netherworld to gain access to the field, where I would attempt to catch rubber chickens in a bucket. These rubber chickens were thrown at me by a lacrosse stick-wielding man in a chicken mask.
I caught every rubber chicken that the man in the chicken mask flung at me.
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a hot door. So never mind taking a rest, I just kept on walking until I arrived at a deserted corner of the stadium. While within this state of isolation (my preferred state), I wrote and disseminated my Subversive and Groundbreaking Ballpark Joke of the Day.
Your groundbreaking and subversive ballpark joke of the day, New Hampshire Fisher Cats https://t.co/mFn6DfAw1W
— Benjamin Hill (@bensbiz) September 3, 2015
A subsequent stop at the team store led me to observe that the Fisher Cats were selling apparel bearing the logo of a team that never existed: The New Hampshire Primaries.
The “Primaries” was actually the original name of the team, but after a public uproar the front office powers-that-be capitulated and subsequently decided via a “name the team” contest that an invasive species of mammal known for its wanton slaughter of domestic pets would be a better choice.
I personally love the Primaries team name and logo, and think that it is worthy of bipartisan support. Could that donkey look any smugger?
It was an extra-inning game, in fact, as my notes helpfully explain that “someone hit a two-run homer to tie it in the ninth.” That someone was Shane Opitz of the Fisher Cats, whose blast over the center field wall tied the game 3-3. The tie score didn’t last long, however, as Manuel Margot singled to lead off the 10th, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Sam Travis single. This gave the Sea Dogs a 4-3 lead, and this was the final score.
Congrats, Sea Dogs. Please converge into an indistinct heap upon the center of the diamond.
“Launch-A-Ball! Not to be confused with Lunchables, which are a delicious meal.” — actual sales pitch for Launch-A-Ball tennis balls that I had heard earlier in the evening.
It was a pretty slow night for Launch-A-Ball, but the show must go on.
Alright, fine, whatever. I’ll show myself out.